D-Shape is a  particle bed 3D printing process at architectural scale

D-Shape® is the original and only large-scale 3D printing process thought to design and build up digitally entire conglomerate building structures in one go, from the basement up to the roof, including foundations, partitioning walls, ceilings, stairs, cavities for MEP, outer patterns, and furniture. This is made possible by the particular material deposition technique that makes the structure self-sustaining during its construction. By this way, it is possible to construct buildings of any shape.

D-Shape is an invention

In 2004, the Italian engineer Enrico Dini was looking at a Z-Corp 3D printer at work. The 3D printer was depositing layers of powder on top of each other spreading a binder selectively by an inkjet printhead, according to the graphics file provided by a computer. When a small object was unveiled out of the powder bed, suddenly, Enrico understood the endless potential of this manufacturing process applied at architectural scale.

Unveiling a scaled building from Z-Corp 3D Printer

The 3D Layering process

The Vision of D-Shape By Enrico Dini and Moreno Chiarugi. Calcinaia (Pisa) – Italy Year 2004



By swapping the powder with sand or gravel and the scaling up the process and the machine, he turned a printer for office environment good to print small three-dimensional objects into a ‘building equipment’ to print very special big objects: the houses.

Enrico called this scaled-up process D-Shape.

D-Shape is a dream of beauty 

Enrico imagined an urban landscape made of organic houses evolving harmonically one to the next one to create a stone symphony.  Any 3D Surface, 3D Surface Algorithms, could be materialized by the D-Shape process.

Also, the natural shapes of the stones could be easily replicated to create a low visual impact architecture camouflaged into the environment. A new form of Natural Architecture he synthetically named ARCHINATURE.



D-Shape is a project of mechatronic engineering

D-Shape aim to develop and offer:

  • 3D Printers at a Large Scale;
  • Building equipment Systems;

The D-Shape Printers can be configured in endless embodiments by size depending on the purpose and needs of the client.

As an engineering firm, we are able to develop from scratch any kind of machinery suitable to implement a specific construction method.

D-Shape is a project of chemical, material science and industrial engineering

D-Shape aim to develop and offer:

  •  Raw materials and binders;
  •  3D Printing processes.

Virtually, any granular material can be used into the D-Shape process: sand, gravel, recycled aggregates, cork, rubber, adding eventually fibers, under the only condition that the binder dropped by the nozzles is capable to bond the grains each other.

An Infinite variation of recipes and materials.

D-Shape is a project of design

D-Shape is a project aimed to develop and offer tools for the fast modeling of 3D Printed building

D-Shape collaborates with several firms of Design.

D-Shape is a project of civil engineering

D-Shape aim to develop and offer:

3D Printing Construction Techniques based on the D-Shape process;

3D Printing Construction Techniques based on extrusion processes;

Large Scale Digital Manufacturing methods as a whole.

D-Shape is a world of  opportunities 

Freedom of creation given to Architects;

Freedom of formulation of new binders and materials were given to Chemists and Material Scientists;

Development of new raw materials and mortars given to Cement Companies;

New  design tools for modeling and calculating building structures ( form finding, topologic optimization given to Structural Engineers;

Faster,  cheaper methods to build given to Contractors;

Superior, Mass customized buildings given to Developers;

A new generation of building equipment given to Machine Manufacturers.